Monday

23rd Apr 2018

Military strike not an option on Iran, EU ministers say

European Union foreign ministers on Tuesday (22 July) called for further diplomacy in dealing with concerns over Iran's nuclear programme and ruled out a military strike as an option.

UK foreign secretary David Miliband said following the meeting: "We are 100 percent focussed on a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian issue."

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Uranium enrichment: Iran insists it is for peaceful purposes (Photo: wikipedia)

The EU's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, said there was "no other route" apart from diplomacy.

"The position of the European Union is clear," said Mr Solana according to the AP. "We want to find a diplomatic solution to this, in particular to clarify to the fullest the nature of their nuclear programme."

Mr Solana outlined for the ministers the results of a meeting on Saturday between Iran and diplomats from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, and Russia, where Tehran was encouraged to halt its uranium enrichment in return for a package of economic and political carrots.

With the US for the first time sending a high-ranking diplomat to the meeting, expectations were high that better relations between the two main antagonists would bear fruit. However, Iran maintained that its nuclear programme had only peaceful purposes.

American secretary of state Condoleeza Rice described Iran's negotiations following the meeting as "not serious."

Mr Solana on Tuesday however said he hoped to have "to have clear and simple answers" from Tehran within two weeks' time.

The six nations and the EU have given Iran a fortnight to reply to the latest offer. If the response is unsatisfactory, further sanctions could be considered.

"The offer that has been made to Iran on the one hand...and the sanctions on the other, if they refuse to engage and reply, is exactly the right approach," said Mr Miliband following the EU ministers' meeting.

EU toes the line on Syria air strikes

EU foreign ministers to back Western air strikes on Syria, the same way they backed the UK over Russia's chemical attack on an ex-spy in Britain.

Analysis

Is Germany more hawkish on Russia?

Germany's socialist foreign minister just said the EU should "step up pressure" on Russia. Merkel aired "political" doubts on a Russian pipeline.

Western Balkans summit imperilled over Kosovo

While Bulgaria aims to have all 28 EU countries in Sofia in May to give a boost to EU accession of the Western Balkans, some EU countries want to make sure their reservations about Kosovo are noted.

Analysis

Is Germany more hawkish on Russia?

Germany's socialist foreign minister just said the EU should "step up pressure" on Russia. Merkel aired "political" doubts on a Russian pipeline.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement
  2. Nahles elected new leader of Germany's SPD
  3. Report: EU budget to refocus on South
  4. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  5. MEPs urge better protection for journalists
  6. Dieselgate: MEPs back greater role for EU in car approvals
  7. European parliament adopts new organic farming rules
  8. EU granted protection to half million people in 2017

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  2. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  3. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  4. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  5. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  6. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  7. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  10. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  11. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia

Latest News

  1. France tightens immigration law, sparking division
  2. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  3. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  4. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes
  5. Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform
  6. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  7. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
  8. Draghi to stay in secretive 'lobby' group